Does sent as text message mean delivered?

Sending messages to other devices is easier than ever for iPhone users.

Between the Messages app, WhatsApp and whatever other message app you’ve downloaded, we’re used to text messaging via cellular network or Wi-Fi network.

But sometimes, the Messages app may show that you message has been “sent as a text message”.

What exactly does this mean, and has the other person still received your message? That’s what we’re going to look at today.

What Does Sent as Text Message Mean vs Delivered?

If your Messages app says “sent as text message”, this simply means that it has been sent as an SMS message, not via the internet.

You can determine whether this is the case because your message will be highlighted in a green text bubble.

Typically an iPhone user will find that their message uses cellular data or a Wi-Fi network.

This is most convenient, and Apple users refer to these messages as an iMessage. These messages will be surrounded in blue bubbles.

One is not necessarily better than the other, and the recipient will still get your text messages either way.

Why can’t I send an iMessage?

If you’re wondering why it’s sent as a green message and not a blue iMessage, there’s actually a few reasons why this may happen.

The Recipient Isn’t Using iMessage

The most common reason for iMessages not being sent is that the recipient doesn’t have an iOS device, or they’ve decided to disable iMessage on their iPhone.

iMessage only allows messages to be sent between Apple devices, so if you send messages to an Android phone, it’ll be sent as text messages instead of via iMessage.

And just like you can disable SMS messages, you also have the option to disable iMessage within your iPhone user settings. If the potential iMessage recipient has done that, your sent message will be via SMS, not internet.

No or Limited Internet Connection Available

The next most likely reason why this occurs is that the other person doesn’t have a good internet connection. Slower internet connectivity means that sometimes, your phone may prefer to use a text message instead.

When sending a message, the apple server will preferably send messages using an internet connection. This is through Wi-Fi or by using your mobile network – though SMS is the backup.

If you’re just having the iMessage issue with one person, it could be their internet that is the issue.

There’s an issue with your iMessage setting

Another potential reason why iMessages aren’t sending is that your device isn’t set up to send them properly. If you go into your Settings and then Messages, you should see an option to toggle iMessage on.

You may see a message underneath saying “Waiting for activation”. If so, then your iMessage hasn’t been set up successfully, and you won’t be able to send a message via internet until it’s fixed.

You can usually fix this by restarting your Apple device, or getting in touch with your service provider to ensure your data plan is active.

iMessage is down

The iPhone SMS Delivery Report that you get when you’ve sent a text message can only work if your iMessage is working properly.

Though this usually works fine, they may not send if iMessage isn’t working properly. You can use standard SMS delivery reports to check that the message has been sent successfully.


In conclusion, don’t worry too much if your iPhone says that your message was sent as a text message.

This doesn’t mean that the other person hasn’t received your message, it just means there was an issue with sending the message via an internet connection.

Instead, your device has reverted to sending via a standard SMS message. However, it’s still been received by the other person.

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Edward brings years of experience in a variety of different fields including online marketing & No-code app development, and he's been investing in stocks and cryptocurrency since 2016. Outside of work you'll usually find him watching movies at the local cinema or playing games in the Apple Arcade.

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